Sofa as subject (with compliments to Colin Pantall)

So I put this post together before thinking about the fact that Colin Pantall has done two entire (wonderful, might I add) series entitled Sofa Portraits--which means I must be extremely sleep-deprived as I'm a great admirer of his work, and had even been planning to write an entry on him soon. The original impetus for my desire to compile photographs containing the sofa was that I've started redoing my website, and in the process was noticing the repetition within my images of certain objects, rooms, et cetera, with our family couch being the most recurrent icon. As a result I've started to become self-conscious about continuing to take pictures in the living room with the couch(es) in the frame due to this discovery, and put together a compilation of what I think are the strongest sofa photos to see if they're diverse enough to consider spreading throughout my "Life is..." series.

Organizing the images also got me to thinking about a particular post over on subjectify that I read a few weeks ago concerning "subject as enemy," see here. I hadn't looked at the entry in a while and decided to check it out again before publishing my own "sofa as subject" post, when I clicked on the comments for the first time. Well, lo and behold, Colin had written in--which is when it hit me that the impulse to organize my sofa images was perhaps a case of subconscious appropriation. And I thought I was being so clever...Is inadvertent imitation still the sincerest form of flattery? (My one saving grace is that all of the images above were shot before I knew of Colin's work--apparently the zoned-out-while-watching-TV expression is quite universal, even when a child is upside down. And yes, Edie is wearing an infant cloth diaper; she wanted to pretend she was a baby on that particular afternoon.)

Because I'd already done all the work of retouching and uploading my photos to blogger I decided to go forth and publish, with my regards to Colin. I promise to write an entry on his photographs asap (he has a great new series up on his website called Life on Mars, check it out here).


Carmen Winant said…
These are really moving. When I look at your images I often feel the most indescribable sense of time quieting or stopping altogether, and I feel that most distinclty here. Esp in the top two shots.
Thanks so much for this. I really appreciate your comment about time stopping, as I write about time in my artist statement: that I'm trying to suspend time, that there's heartbreak in lost time--so it's wonderful to know that this part of my work has come across for you.

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